Undeniably, one of the biggest decisions in the business landscape over the past few years was Disney’s buyout of Lucasfilm’s Star Wars franchise. Long-loved and revered, but unable to spark content for a new generation, Star Wars had to find a new home. Disney appeared to be the perfect suitor.
Thanks to its massive entertainment resources, the “Magic Kingdom” could breathe new life into the Star Wars franchise. That’s exactly what Disney did with The Force Awakens, a continuation of the original trilogy’s storyline. Force received rave reviews and more importantly, record-breaking ticket sales. The stand-alone Rogue One and 2017’s The Last Jedi, while receiving some heated commentary, performed superbly at the box office.
The same was eagerly anticipated for last month’s Solo movie. Another stand-alone film that features elements supporting the original trilogy, Solo was actually a remarkably good story. Unlike the disastrously acted and produced Jedi, the latest release from the Disney Star Wars franchise was bolstered with superior acting, an intriguing plot, and the right amount of humor.
The latter element was a particularly egregious sticking point with Jedi. The dialogue felt forced, and onscreen chemistry was practically nonexistent. Jedi routinely broke the fourth wall, and at times, I felt as if I was watching a parody of the Star Wars franchise, and not an actual Star Wars film.
Indeed, the Solo movie was everything that Jedi was not; namely, interesting.
With such a powerful brand like the Star Wars franchise, you can release utter crap and it would sell. Disney knows this, and that’s why I suspect they weren’t really interested in polishing the storyline and overall production of Jedi.
So when they set out to produce the Solo movie, surely, Disney must have felt they had a spectacular hit on their hands. Not only was this another hotly-anticipated extension of the Star Wars franchise, Solo was cinematic gold, and I’m not even going to add the qualifier, for a Stars Wars film. It was better than advertised.
Therefore, it was surprising that Disney failed to meet any of the expectations analysts had for the Solo movie. By all measures, their latest release is a box office dud. According to Hollywood Reporter, Solo will potentially lose Disney anywhere from $50 million to $80 million.
Of course, the earnings loss on the Solo movie isn’t a big issue for the entertainment giant. They probably have $50 million lying around in a miscellaneous cash account. The shocker is that Disney incurred a loss at all. The Solo movie had every ingredient that makes for a great story, never mind a Star Wars story, yet it failed miserably.
This incident demonstrates that sure things are anything but. Regarding Solo, the audience may have gotten Star Wars fatigue. Even with a world-class brand and franchise, you can never overplay your cards.